and Johnson, with five pieces of artillery and 2,000 men, were at Lamb's Ferry, preparing to cross in some forty-flat-boats, which they had previously built in Big Nance (or Town) Creek. To meet these forces and to prepare for the coming of Wheeler, whom you had reported as driving in pickets at McMinnville, and with another detachment in the vicinity of Lebanon, I had about 1,800 cavalry whose horses were fit to take the field. This force being altogether inadequate to meet the forces of Calton and Roddey alone, I ordered all the infantry in the district, except the minimum garrisons for block-houses (not to exceed twenty for a block-house), to be ready with three days' cooked rations to move at any moment to such points as might be deemed necessary. The One hundred and second Ohio, Thirteenth Wisconsin, and Seventy-third Indiana were ordered to use every effort to keep Clanton on the south side of the river, in which service they would be aided by the gun-boats, but if they ailed in this they were to fall back to the railroad. On the 30th of August I made a requisition for a train sufficiently large to transport 2,000 infantry and a section of artillery, with which I proposed to patrol the road and move my infantry to co-operate with the cavalry. This, I regret to say, never came. On the 28th of August Colonel Lyon reported Clanton with 3,000 men at Fearn's Ferry, but on the 30th reported Clanton positively gone to Atlanta with his whole command. This report having reached me from another quarter and being fully confirmed, I ordered the One hundred and second Ohio, Thirteenth Wisconsin, and Seventy-third Indiana to fall back immediately to the railroad-the Thirteenth I sent to Huntsville, the Seventy-third to Elk River, and the One hundred and second Ohio to Decatur Junction. Being satisfied that Roddey would be the first I should have to look after at this end of the road, and that he would strike the road somewhere about Athens, Sulphur trestle, or Elk River, I ordered all my cavalry and disposable infantry to these points-the Third Tennessee and detachments of Ninth and Tenth Indiana to Elk River, the Second Tennessee to Athens, and a squadron of cavalry to Sulphur trestle. Sulphur trestle and Elk River were each re-enforced with infantry and a section of artillery; 300 of the Eighteenth Michigan Infantry were sent to Athens. On the morning of the 2nd of September Colonel Prosser telegraphed me that the enemy were on railroad near Sulphur trestle. I ordered him to move after him, to attack him and to stick to him, no matter what his force. This order was vigorously carried out, and this column of Roddey's force, 600 strong, was driven from the road and never again returned to it.
Soon after Colonel Prosser left Athens a second column of Roddey's force appeared before that place, inducing the commanding officer there to believe that he was about to be attacked. When I arrived there, shortly after, I found the streets barricaded. I ordered the barricades to be torn down, and with a company of Third Tennessee Cavalry and a piece of artillery, under Colonel Thornburgh, and 300 Eighteenth Michigan Infantry, under command of Major Hulburd, moved out and attacked the enemy immediately, and after a brisk skirmish of twenty minutes, in which only cavalry and artillery were engaged, the enemy withdrew rapidly, with 3 killed and 7 wounded, including a major. This force left for the Tennessee River, recrossed, and never appeared upon the railroad again. I brought with me to Athens the One hundred and second Ohio, the Thirty-fifth Illinois, and Sixth Indiana, the two latter volunteering